Pakistan Missile Milestones – 1961-2014

1961: Establishment of the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), Pakistan’s space agency.

1962: The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) helps train Pakistani scientists and engineers. Pakistan launches its first sounding rocket.

1985: Congress passes the Pressler Amendment barring U.S. aid unless the U.S. president can certify Pakistan does not possess a nuclear explosive device.

1985: Establishment of the Combat Development (CD) Directorate, which conducts research and development on ballistic missiles in cooperation with SUPARCO.

1989: According to Pakistani sources, Hatf-1 and Hatf-2 ballistic missiles are fired to ranges of 80 and 300 kilometers respectively. Pakistan and China also sign a ten-year cooperation agreement in defense science, technology and industry, including joint procurement, research and development, production and technology transfer.

1990: President Bush can no longer certify Pakistan has no nuclear weapons. The United States suspends military aid to Pakistan.

July 1990: Pakistan’s first satellite, the 50 kg Badr-A (Badr-1), is launched as part of a test flight of China’s Long March 2E booster, according to Aviation Week and Space Technology.

1991: The United States sanctions two Chinese entities and Pakistan’s SUPARCO for missile proliferation activities.

April 1991: The Washington Post reports that U.S. intelligence agencies have spotted what appears to be a number of launch vehicles for Chinese M-11 ballistic missiles in Pakistan.

December 1991: A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman announces that China’s Ministry of Aerospace Industry and Pakistan’s SUPARCO have signed an agreement on cooperation in the peaceful application of space sciences and technology.

January 1992: The New York Times cites senior Bush administration officials as stating that China has delivered guidance systems for M-11 ballistic missiles to Pakistan.

June 1992: The U.S. Department of Commerce amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to clarify which destinations will require a validated license “when an exporter knows that the items will be used in the design, development, production or use of missiles.” Pakistan’s Hatf series is among the missile programs targeted.

1993: The United States sanctions Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense and ten Chinese entities for missile proliferation activities.

1994: Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says the testing and deployment of India’s Prithvi surface-to-surface missile “threatens to trigger a missile race in the subcontinent.”

1995: U.S. intelligence says it has strong evidence that Pakistan is building storage sheds, mobile launchers and maintenance facilities at the Sargodha military airbase for Chinese-supplied M-11 missiles.

May 1995: The periodical Flight International reports U.S. authorities are warning that Pakistan’s SUPARCO has approached companies in several European countries to acquire, among other items, composites, specialist alloy, and a range of production and testing equipment for producing ballistic missiles.

March 1996: Taiwan confiscates 15 tons of ammonium perchlorate, used in the production of missile propellant, from a North Korean freighter bound for SUPARCO.

June 1996: Intelligence reports claim that Pakistan has uncrated and deployed the M-11 missiles.

July-December 1996: The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) states that Pakistan is making “strong efforts to acquire an indigenous capability in missile production technologies,” and that China “was a major supplier to Pakistan’s ballistic missile program, providing technology and assistance.”

October 1996: The Washington Post reports that, according to a classified U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, Pakistan may have developed nuclear warheads to mount on its M-11 missiles. U.S. intelligence officials also state that China is assisting Pakistan to build a missile factory in a Rawalpindi suburb, anticipated in a year or two to be able to produce most of the major components of a Chinese M-11 missile.

December 1996: Hong Kong custom officers raid a Chinese vessel and find 10 metric tons of ammonium perchlorate. The cargo is believed to have been shipped by the North Korean company Lyongaksan and bound for SUPARCO.

1997: The CIA states that Chinese and North Korean entities continue to provide assistance to Pakistan’s ballistic missile program, which is “critical for Islamabad’s efforts to achieve independence from foreign sources and to produce long-range ballistic missiles.”

April 1998: Pakistan tests the new Ghauri (Hatf-V) missile. The Ghauri is a nuclear-capable, liquid fuel medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM), with a range of 1,300 km.

May 1998: The U.S. State Department imposes two-year sanctions on Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) and Changgwang Sinyong Corporation of North Korea for cooperating on missile development.

May 1998: Pakistan conducts a series of underground tests of nuclear devices in response to recent Indian tests. The United States proceeds to implement sanctions, in place by November 1998, on a large number of Indian and Pakistani research, development, and production entities involved in space and missile technology.

July 1998: The Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, led by Donald H. Rumsfeld, concludes that Pakistan has acquired production facilities to build the Ghauri (Hatf-V) MRBM, which is described as a version of the North Korean Nodong. It also concludes that Pakistan possesses M-11 missiles obtained from China and may be able to produce the “Tarmuk” missile based on the Chinese M-11.

August 1998: Pakistan claims it has recovered an American Tomahawk missile, which was fired during an American attack against terrorist camps in Afghanistan. Some Pakistani officials claim the find could help advance Pakistan’s missile technology, but American defense officials disagree.

September 1998: Pakistan completes a mobile, re-usable launcher designed for use with the solid-fuel, nuclear capable Shaheen-I (Hatf-IV) short range ballistic missile (SRBM).

January 1999: Pakistan announces it is ready to test the Shaheen-I (Hatf-IV) missile. The solid fuel missile has a range of 750 kilometers, and is designed to counter India’s nuclear capable Prithvi missiles.

February 1999: Indian Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meet in Lahore, Pakistan. The leaders agree to exchange strategic information about their nuclear arsenals, to give each other advance notice of ballistic missile tests, and to increase efforts to resolve the Kashmir issue.

April 1999: Pakistan tests the liquid-fuel Ghauri-II MRBM in response to India’s test of the Agni-II missile. KRL officials claim that the missile has a range of 2,300 kilometers. Pakistan also successfully tests the Shaheen-I (Hatf-IV) missile.

September 1999: KRL successfully tests the engine of the new Ghauri-III intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM). The Pakistani Foreign Ministry claims the Ghauri-III will have a range of 2,700-3,000 kilometers, which would allow Pakistan to target all of India.

2000: Pakistan streamlines its command and control system with the establishment of the National Command Authority (NCA), with the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) as its secretariat. The NCA is given broad power over “all issues relating to nuclear and space technologies” in Pakistan, bringing all national strategic organizations under its authority. According to Feroz Hassan Khan, the NCA replaces the CD Directorate.

February 2000: Pakistan tests the 100-kilometer-range Hatf-1A solid-fuel, ballistic missile, developed by the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).

March 2000: Pakistan unveils the road-mobile, solid-fuel, two-stage Shaheen-II (Hatf-VI) MRBM at the annual Pakistan Day parade. Pakistani authorities claim it has a range of 2,500 kilometers and can carry a 1,000 kilogram payload.

January 2001: Reported establishment of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), which oversees Pakistan’s missile development efforts.

March 2001: The periodical Dawn cites Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan (a.k.a. A.Q. Khan) as saying that Pakistani scientists are developing the nation’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) under SUPARCO.

June 2001: According to a senior U.S. nonproliferation official cited in the periodical Nuclear Fuel, experts from KRL and experts from North Korea are cooperating on the development of solid-fuel missiles.

July-December 2001: The U.S. Director of Central Intelligence’s Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions reports that Chinese entities continue to provide “significant assistance,” enabling Pakistan to move “toward serial production of solid-propellant SRBMs such as Shaheen-I and Haider-I.” The report adds that Pakistan “needs continued Chinese assistance to support development of the two-stage Shaheen-II (Hatf-VI) MRBM.”

August 2001: According to the Deputy Director of the CIA, John E. McLaughlin, North Korea transferred the 1,300 km-range Nodong ballistic missile to Pakistan.

September 2001: U.S. President George Bush lifts sanctions against India and Pakistan imposed after the 1998 nuclear tests.

May 2002: Pakistan reportedly successfully tests the Ghaznavi (Hatf-III) missile for the first time. The short-range, surface-to-surface missile is reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear weapon and has a range of 290 km. The Ghaznavi is reportedly based on the Chinese M-11.

May 2002: Pakistan successfully test fires the Abdali (Hatf-II) missile for the first time. The short-range, surface-to-surface missile has a range of 180 km and can carry a nuclear warhead.

January-June 2003: The U.S. Director of Central Intelligence’s Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions reports that Chinese entities continue to provide assistance for Pakistan’s ballistic missile program despite a Chinese pledge to the United States in November 2000 to end such assistance to nuclear capable ballistic missile programs.

March 2004: The periodical Press Trust of India reports that Pakistan has test-fired the 2,000 km-range Shaheen-II (Hatf-VI) missile for the first time.

July 2004: During an interview with the periodical Asahi Shimbun, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is quoted as saying that Pakistan obtained missile technology from North Korea after Bhutto’s December 1993 goodwill mission. Bhutto emphasizes that missiles were not exchanged for nuclear technology.

September 2004: Pakistan’s National Assembly passes the Export Control on Goods, Technologies, Material and Equipment Related to Nuclear and Biological Weapons and their Delivery Systems Act. The finalized bill defines delivery systems as “missiles exclusively designed and adapted to deliver a nuclear or biological weapon.” It covers “every citizen of Pakistan or person in the service of Pakistan within and beyond Pakistan or any Pakistani visiting or working abroad, any foreign national while in the territories of Pakistan and any ground transport, ship or aircraft registered in Pakistan wherever it may be.”

August 2005: India and Pakistan reach an agreement on notification of flight-testing of ballistic missiles, following two days of talks on nuclear confidence-building measures.

August 2005: A Pakistani military spokesman reportedly announces that Pakistan has successfully tested its first nuclear capable, ground-launched cruise missile, the 500 km-range Babur (Hatf-VII).

August 2005: India’s Scientific Advisor to the Defense Minister states that Pakistan’s Babur (Hatf-VII) cruise missile is not supersonic or indigenously developed as claimed by Pakistan. New Delhi Force, an independent Indian magazine, alleges that the Babur resulted from the transfer of technology from China’s state-owned China National Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp. (CPMIEC) to Pakistan’s state-owned National Development Complex (NDC).

January-December 2007: The U.S. Director of Central Intelligence’s Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions reports that private Chinese companies continue to sell equipment usable in ballistic missile, chemical weapon, and nuclear weapon programs to Pakistan.

March 2007: Pakistan reportedly successfully test fires the Babur (Hatf-VII) cruise missile, which it says is nuclear capable and has an increased range of 700 km.

April 2007: Pakistan establishes the Strategic Export Control Division (SECDIV), which will be the only authority approving the export of nuclear-related items and missile technology. The move follows the adoption of Pakistan’s Export Control Act in September 2004.

August 2007: Pakistan reportedly successfully tests its new Ra’ad (Hatf-VIII) air-launched cruise missile (ALCM). Pakistan’s military claims that the cruise missile has a range of 350 km and can deliver nuclear warheads.

April 2008: The Pakistan Army conducts the first successful training launch of the Shaheen-II (Hatf VI) MRBM.

June 2008: The existence of digitized blueprints for a compact, sophisticated nuclear weapon on computers linked to the A.Q. Khan network becomes public. The New York Times reports that nuclear experts believe the small, allegedly Pakistani-origin weapon would fit on medium-range missiles such as Pakistan’s Ghauri (Hatf-V) MRBM.

August 2009: According to the New York Times, the United States accuses Pakistan of illegally modifying American-made missiles to expand their ability to strike targets on land. An unannounced Pakistani missile test in April, detected by U.S. intelligence agencies, has led the United States to suspect Pakistan of modifying Harpoon anti-ship missiles sold to Pakistan in the 1980s.

April 2010: According to The Australian, Canberra blocks a shipment of two atomic absorption spectrophotometers by GBC Scientific Equipment to a Pakistani engineering company, citing concerns that the machines could be used to analyze metals used for centrifuges and missiles.

January-December 2011: The U.S. Director of Central Intelligence’s Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions reports that Chinese entities, “primarily private companies and individuals,” continue to export missile-related equipment to Pakistan, and that China’s state-owned firms continue to serve as key suppliers of advanced conventional weapons to Pakistan.

April 2011: Pakistan successfully tests the Nasr (Hatf-IX) multi-tubed SRBM, a nuclear-capable missile with a range of 60 km. Pakistan claims that the addition of this missile to the country’s arsenal “addresses the need to deter evolving threats.”

August 2011: Pakistan’s first communications satellite, the PakSat-1R, developed jointly by SUPARCO and the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), is launched aboard a Chinese SLV from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

September 2011: Reports emerge that Chinese firms have sold or have attempted to sell equipment to Pakistan that could be used in its ballistic missile program. These transactions include: an illegal sale by the Chinese firm Polytechnologies of a coil-winding device and specialized optical chips to Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering and Research Organization; a planned sale of machinery by the Chinese company Jinan Metal Forming Machinery Engineering Co. to Pakistani defense organizations; and an attempted sale of 2,200 pounds of specialty steel by a Chinese company to Pakistan’s Aginel Enterprises.

January 2012: Nadeem Aktar is sentenced by a judge in Maryland to 37 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release for illegally exporting nuclear-related materials to restricted entities in Pakistan. These transactions included the supplying of 90 fixed coaxial attenuators to SUPARCO.

April 2012: Pakistan successfully tests the nuclear-capable Shaheen-1A (Hatf IV) IRBM, an improved version of the Shaheen-1.

May 2012: Pakistan successfully tests the Ra’ad (Hatf VIII) ALCM using the newly-developed Strategic Command and Control Support System (SCCSS) developed by the NCA.

September 2012: Pakistan successfully tests the Babur (Hatf VII) cruise missile using the SCCSS system.

November 2012: Pakistan tests the Ghauri (Hatf-V) MRBM using the SCCSS. Although announced as a success by the Pakistani military, local media report that the missile disintegrated during the flight.

November 2013: Pakistan successfully tests the Nasr (Hatf IX) SRBM in salvo mode, launching four missiles in succession.

May 2014: Pakistan successfully tests the Ghaznavi (Hatf III) SRBM as part of a field training exercise conducted by the Army Strategic Forces Command.

September 2014: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) adds Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering Research Organization (AERO) and eight of its affiliate organizations to the U.S. Entity List for illegally procuring U.S.-origin items in support of Pakistan’s development of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The eight affiliate organizations are Vortex Electronics (Australia), Beijing Lion Heart International Trading Company (China and Hong Kong), Future Systems Pvt. Ltd. (Pakistan), IKAN Engineering Services (Pakistan), LT Engineering and Trade Services (Pvt) Ltd. (LTE) (Pakistan), Nazir and Sons International (Pakistan), Orion Eleven Pvt. Ltd. (Pakistan), and Izix Group Pte Ltd. (Singapore).